The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (the “AMA”) has established certain standards to achieve accessibility for Manitobans disabled by a barrier. The Accessible Employment Standard Regulation came into force on May 1, 2019. The regulation requires employers to create policies and practices with a view of increasing accessibility in the workplace.
By May 1, 2022, all employers must comply with the following requirements, which require employers to consider reasonable accommodation at various stages of employment:
- Recruiting and Offer of Employment
- Individual Accommodation Plans
- Performance Management
- Return to Work
Employers with 50 or more employees are also required to:
Regardless of the May 1, 2022 deadline, all employers must also tailor their emergency response plans to employees who face special risk due to a disability and, with the employee’s permission, share that information with a person appointed to assist the employee during an emergency.
The framework for compliance will follow a phased-in implementation approach where an Accessibility Compliance Secretariat in the Department of Families will be working to promote and oversee the compliance framework.
The framework has been broken down into a 5-step process:
1. Educating into compliance: Notices or letters will be provided to organizations informing them about upcoming compliance deadlines. Furthermore, an awareness campaign will be launched to provide tools and resources to assist organizations in their compliance efforts.
2. Compliance period actions: Organizations will be selected for step #3 (below) based on:
3. Reviews: An organization selected for this step will be notified that it has been selected for a review. If selected, actions may include a review of an organization’s written policies, training materials, reports etc. If results from a review indicate non-compliance, a return to compliance plan will be developed giving the organization the opportunity to comply. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the organization may be escalated to step #4.
4. Inspections: Organizations may be inspected with or without advance notice. Actions in this step may include a review of the organization’s written records, an observation of the organization’s practices or an interview with staff to gather information. If the results of an inspection demonstrate non-compliance, the organization will be provided the opportunity to return to compliance. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the organization may be escalated to step #5.
5. Sanctions: Actions in this step include issuing an order, an administrative penalty, or laying charges for an offence with a fine.
TDS lawyer Melissa Beaumont would be happy to assist in developing your accessible employment policies. Co-author and articling student, Lidet D. Getachew, has left TDS to pursue other opportunities.
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